MARCO ISLAND — Hideaway Beach moved more than sand Thursday to complete its erosion control project. During its funding discussions, the Hideaway Beach’s Tax District Board moved $190,898 from reserves to pay expenses as it repairs its north beach.
“There’s no legal requirement for reserves to meet our bond covenants now that our bonds have been paid,” said Erik Brechnitz, chairman of the committee.
Moving the reserves for the tax district helped the city’s report on revenues and expenses reflect a positive cash flow. Transitioning the money to the report was routine, said Tim Pinter, public works director. Hideaway Beach is waiting for a $350,000 cash grant promised by Collier County Commissioners from Tourist Development Council funds.
The beach erosion project is expected to cost between $1.6 and $2 million. Sand dredged from nearly waters and the tip of Sand Dollar Island has already been added to the beach. That work was completed by May 1, ahead of schedule and before required monitoring during sea turtle nesting season. Three new T-groins are expected to be completed by the end of June or the first week in July.
Final approval of an inter-local agreement between the county, the City of Marco Island and the Hideaway Beach District providing $350,000 for the project is scheduled for a vote by county commissioners on May 14. Approval is under the consent agenda as item 16.A.11.
The city is named in the agreement because it administers Hideaway’s Municipal Service Taxing Unit, or MSTU. Residents of the private community tax themselves to provide funds to maintain and renourish their beach.
The county agreed to grant Hideaway the $350,000 as a proportionate share of three erosion control structures that will help reduce the frequency of dredging Collier Creek. Sand from Hideaway’s north beach gets scoured and deposited in the creek. The T-groins are designed to slow the process.
After approval of the grant, Hideaway can request funds be transferred to the city’s account to pay for work completed. In addition, the tax district’s financials listed the $500,000 loan approved by city council. MSTU taxes added $933,075. Collections for the MSTU are 99 percent complete for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013.
Michael Poff of Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. reported about 5 feet of steel over construction allowance was required to complete the three T-groins. Rather than purchasing more material, the contractor was instructed to use steel sheets left from Hideaway’s 2010 T-groin project.
Board members questioned the physical appearance of the 19th T-groin, saying it looked shorter than anticipated. Poff explained it could go no further than the riparian line, the extension of the property line into the water from the shore.
Paul Fernstrum of the committee said recent outgoing tides and high winds removed many cubic yards of replaced sand. Poff said it was unfortunate weather because work on the new T-groins was in mid-construction. Steel plates had not been fortified with rock to slow wave action.
“Steel sheets without the rock cause the worst problem,” he said.
Poff was also asked about the steel sheets being placed so they are under water. He told the board when rock caps are placed on the sheets, the completed T-groins will be above water during high tides.
In other business, departing board member Tom Talbot received a commendation for service from the City of Marco Island. Talbot served on the board from 2008 to 2013. Replacing him is Richard Delawder of 6000 Royal Marco Way. The board also renamed Eric Brechnitz as chairman, Paul Fernstrum, vice chairman, and Joe Gardner, secretary.
The board scheduled its next meeting for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, in City Hall’s first floor conference room.